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Record lottery prize is a powerful draw for Oklahomans

Powerball payouts have reached an all-time high of $600 million, causing Oklahomans to rush to get their tickets.
by Adam Kemp Modified: May 17, 2013 at 9:29 pm •  Published: May 17, 2013

Giovannia Gonzalez can think of plenty to do with $600 million, but for some reason, ice cream for dinner sounds the best.

Gonzalez, 26, was drawn to the OnCue Express gas station during her lunch break Friday by the allure of big money and big dreams. It was the first time she bought a lottery ticket, tempted by the biggest jackpot in Powerball history: $600 million and rising.

“I'm just feeling lucky today,” she said. “I'm sure that is everybody's excuse to play the lottery, but I could do a lot with this money. Pay off my house, buy a new car because mine is a junker and then put money away for my kids to go to college. Definitely more ice cream for dinner.”

The chances of winning the latest jackpot are 1 in 175.2 million, according to lottery officials. Meaning you're more likely to get struck by lightning (1 in a million), become president (1 in 10 million) or get drafted by the Thunder (1 in 6.8 million.)

But Carl Taylor, 64, remains undeterred.

Taylor was in Oklahoma City on Friday to visit his son and grandson, who is graduating from elementary school.

“Luck ain't got nothing to do with it,” Taylor said. “It really has to do with whatever the will of God is. I don't know if I could win but I'll take the chance. Who knows what could happen?”

Katy Smith, with the Oklahoma Lottery Commission, said sales usually soar before a drawing of this size.

“When it gets high like this, everybody wants to try,” she said. “You have to play to win; you might as well try.”

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by Adam Kemp
Enterprise Reporter
Adam Kemp is an enterprise reporter and videographer for the Oklahoman and Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State...
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